Category Archives: Information

You Should Join Writers’ Community!

By: Rachael Carmichael 

Come to Ball State University’s Writers’ Community and share your work with others in an encouraging environment. It’s a close-knit club, and the vibe is always positive.

A unique experience 

  • The Writers’ Community shares various forms and genres, from poetry and parts of novels, to song lyrics and short stories.
  • Writers are able to share their work, as well as receiving feedback and advice during group discussions.
  • This community is dedicated to listening to other writer’s ideas and works.
  • It’s an easy and great way to receive constructive critiques if you want to better your writing through other writers!

Their mission

The Writers’ Community wants to help others grow in their passion for expressing themselves through writing.

They accept everyone of any level of writing, from more experienced to beginners.

President of the Writers’ Community, Ian Roesler, hopes to expand the community, especially for those who are interested in writing but don’t know what their first steps are.

What can new members expect?

The meetings typically start off with Roesler giving an introduction and important announcements. Afterwards, there is an open floor for people to share their works if they have anything prepared.

Members don’t have to bring anything to share if they aren’t comfortable or aren’t ready.

After each piece is read, there will be a discussion so writers can get important feedback. Sometimes Roesler likes to incorporate other ways to induce creativity, such as: free writing or a fun writing prompt. These ideas happen typically during an evening when many people don’t have anything to share with the group.

Something Roesler is thinking about introducing are evenings where club members provide fun presentations on various literary genres that they’re interested in.

The meetings are held on Monday nights in Robert Bell 284 at 8:00 p.m. and they run for an hour. Everyone is welcome, whether they’re an English major or not. Members can expect a welcome and respectful environment full of enthusiastic and talented writers who love to share their work.

A message from current President, Ian Roesler:

“The Writers’ Community has helped me and others by providing feedback and advice on shared works. Discussions can lead to the formation of new ideas or whenever someone is stuck on something or they need guidance on where to go next in their respective work.”

Marianne Boruch: Visiting Poet at Ball State University

Poet and author Marianne Boruch will be visiting Ball State University on Wednesday, October 17th, 2018 from 7:30-9:30 p.m. in the Arts and Journalism Building (AJ) 225.  This event is free and open to the public.

Boruch will also be making one classroom visit to discuss her poetry on Thursday, October 18th: Boruch will visit ENG 408 (Advanced Poetry Workshop), from 9:30-10:45p.m. in the L. A. Pittenger Student Center 303.  This visit is also free and open to the public.

Chicagoan Marianne Boruch is the author of nine books of poetry, most recently, Eventually One Dreams the Real Thing, and Cadaver, Speak.  She has also published three collections of essays, the most recent being The Little Death of Self, and a memoir, The Glimpse Traveler.

Her work has appeared in Poetry, The New Yorker, American Poetry Review, and elsewhere.  Among her honors are are four Pushcart Prizes, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the NEA, the Rockefeller Foundation, and two Fulbright Professorships.

Boruch was the founder of the MFA program at Purdue University, where she became a Professor Emeritus there last May.  She continues to teach in the Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College. Continue reading

Immersive Opportunities: Gain Hands-On Experience!

Are you wondering how you can get more involved in the department? Do you want to spice up your class schedule next year? Consider one of our many immersive learning classes! Immersive learning courses provide students with hands-on, real-world experience in their field of interest.

Previous courses have included Storytelling and Social Justice, where students published a book of true stories from community members to make poverty in Delaware County more visible, and Creative Writing in the Community, where students taught writing techniques to young writers in Muncie and published a collaborative anthology.

Fall 2018 English Immersive Learning Courses:

ENG 400: Book Arts Collaborative

This community letterpress and book bindery is located in the MadJax Building in downtown Muncie. Students learn to set type and hand-bind books, and each has the opportunity to become a student manager, where they’ll learn the ins and outs of business through collaboration with community partners. To learn more, contact Prof. Rai Peterson at rai@bsu.edu.

ENG 299X: Jacket Copy Creative

Students staff this in-house marketing agency for the English Department. They manage the department’s social media accounts, blog, and annual newsletter. Students learn storytelling strategies through practices in public relations, graphic design, editing, content marketing, and more. To learn more, contact Prof. Cathy Day at cday@bsu.edu.

ENG 489: The Broken Plate

In this class, students learn firsthand the editing and publishing world, as they produce this nationally distributed literary magazine. Students field submissions in poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, screenwriting, art, and photography, and the journal is released at the annual In Print Festival of First Books. To learn more, contact Prof. Silas Hansen at schansen@bsu.edu.

ENG 400: Digital Literature Review

Students read deeply in literature, theory, and criticism on a vital topic, then produce a volume of this scholarly journal on that topic. Next year’s topic is Brave New Worlds: Utopias and Dystopias in Literature and Film. To learn more, contact Prof. Vanessa Rapatz at vlrapatz@bsu.edu.

ENG 299X: Rethinking Children’s and Young Adult Literature

Students will focus on rethinking characters in children’s and young adult literature to help shift the stigma associated with being disabled. The course culminates in the production of a comprehensive magazine/website containing resources on literature featuring disabled characters and fiction and non-fiction pieces co-created by students at BSU and the Burris Laboratory School. To learn more, contact Prof. Lyn Jones at ljones2@bsu.edu.

 

Sigma Tau Delta: Your Next Chapter

What is Sigma Tau Delta?

Sigma Tau Delta is an international English honor society with over 900 active chapters in the US and abroad. The organization is open to all English majors and minors, including undergraduate and graduate students.

Ball State started its chapter in the fall of 2017 with 15 members. Our chapter focuses on community outreach, both on campus and in Muncie. Some possible events we’re planning for next year include a Bad Poetry Night, a book drive, and community reading sessions. Our year culminates at the international convention (next year’s is in St. Louis!) where students can present creative and critical works, meet other members from around the world, and immerse themselves in all things English for days on end.

Who can join?

Both undergraduate and graduate students can join!

If you are an undergraduate student who has taken at least two English or literature classes at the college level, are majoring or minoring in an English concentration, and have a GPA of at least 3.5, you qualify!

If you are a graduate student, you must be studying English (any concentration), have completed six semester hours of graduate work or the equivalent, and have a GPA of at least 3.5.

If you qualify, you should have received an email inviting you to join. If you did not receive an email but think you qualify, contact Mary Lou Vercellotti at mlvercellott@bsu.edu.

How can you join?

Turn in your application (printed) and a one-time fee of $40 to the English Department main office in RB 297 by 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 3.

Why should you join?

Scholarships

Members are eligible to apply for Sigma Tau Delta scholarships. Each year, the organization gives out scholarships valued at up to $5,000 each, including one to aid members who have an unpaid internship.

Internships

Sigma Tau Delta offers three awesome internships in publishing: the Sigma Tau Delta Rectangle, the Sigma Tau Delta Review, and a co-sponsored internship with Penguin Random House. (One of our chapter members is a top-five finalist for this one!) Members can also apply for scholarships to attend the Washington Center internship program.

Convention

We just got back from this year’s convention in Cincinnati, Ohio! Four of our members submitted work and presented at the conference, and two of them won money! Aside from possibly winning money for your writing, the convention gives you the chance to listen to peers’ work, take part in roundtable and panel discussions, attend professional development and informational sessions, network, and talk with authors (this year, featured guests included Christina Henriquez and Mary Norris). It’s not all just academic, though—the convention also hosts social events like an open mic night, a bad poetry competition, and a semi-formal awards gala.

Fellowship & Networking

Sigma Tau Delta allows you to connect with like-minded people on campus and off. You’ll befriend students you might not have otherwise met, build a stronger professional relationship with faculty members, and network with professionals in your desired field. You’ll geek out over punny English-themed t-shirts, eat lots of pizza, and laugh A LOT.

Follow our BSU Sigma Tau Delta chapter at @bsusigmatd on Instagram and Twitter, and like Ball State Sigma Tau Delta: Alpha Chi Upsilon chapter on Facebook! Contact bsusigmatd@bsu.edu with any questions.

In Print Festival of First Books XIII – Itinerary of Public Events

For over a decade the BSU Creative Writing Program’s In Print Festival of First Books has brought three authors who’ve just published their first book and a literary editor/publisher to campus for a two-day event featuring a reading, classroom visits, and a panel discussion/Q&A on literary editing and publishing.

This year’s festival, to be held in the Student Center Ballroom from 8:00-10:00 p.m. on Wednesday, March 28th and Thursday, March 29th, features poet Carolina Ebeid, fiction writer Nick White, creative nonfiction writer Jan Shoemaker, and editor/publisher Kristen Elias Rowley.

 

Here is a detailed schedule of events:

Wednesday, March 28th

 3 PM

  • Carolina Ebeid: Katy Didden’s ENG 308: Intro Poetry Workshop in RB 290
  • Jan Shoemaker: Jill Christman’s ENG 406: Advanced CNF Workshop in RB 361

8 PM

  • In Print Reading, reception and book signing (*remember to bring your books!) in the Student Center Ballroom

 

Thursday March 29th

12:30 PM

  • Carolina Ebeid: Mark Neely’s ENG 408: Advanced Poetry Workshop in RB 361

 2:00 PM

  • Jan Shoemaker: Silas Hansen’s ENG 406: Advanced Creative Nonfiction Workshop in RB 361

3:30 PM

  • Nick White: Sean Lovelace’s ENG 407: Advanced Fiction Workshop in RB 361

5:00 PM

  • Kristen Elias Rowley: Mark Neely’s ENG 489: Literary Editing in RB 361

8:00 PM

  • Panel discussion, reception and book signing in the Student Center Ballroom

In Print Author: Jan Shoemaker

This week, BSU’s creative writing program hosts its annual In Print Festival of First Books, a two-day event featuring a reading and panel discussion by writers who have just published their first books, as well as an editor from a small press or literary journal.

Today we introduce the third of our featured writers for this year’s festival: creative nonfiction writer Jan Shoemaker.

Jan’s Official Bio

Jan Shoemaker’s essay collection, Flesh and Stones: Field Notes from a Finite World, was published in 2016 by Bottom Dog Press. Her essays and poems have appeared in many journals and magazines. Having recently participated in a community reading of Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself” in northern Michigan, she is increasingly interested in the idea of public readings as a form of political action. She writes and teaches in Michigan, where she lives with her husband and a succession of bed-hogging but well-meaning rescue dogs.

Interviews

Selected Essays

Event Details

Jan will be joined at the 2018 In Print Festival of First Books by fiction writer Nick White, poet Carolina Ebeid, and editor Kristen Elias Rowley.

Jan Shoemaker will also be visiting Professor Jill Christman’s ENG 406 class:

  • Wednesday, 03/28, 3:00-4:15 in Robert Bell, Room 361

She will also be visiting Professor Silas Hansen’s ENG 406 class:

  • Thursday, 03/29, 2:00-3:15 in Robert Bell, Room 361

All In Print events are free and open to the public, but contact Prof. Hansen or Prof. Christman if you would like to sit in on one of their classes.

 

Giving back on #BSUGivingTuesday

After you’ve found your Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday deals, #BSUGivingTuesday gives you the opportunity to give back to the academic community from which you emerged.

Consider donating to the Ball State English General Fund #2701 to ensure that our students and faculty continue to make a difference.

Keep reading to learn about a few of the projects which this fund has supported in the past year.

Alliance of Black and Latinx Teachers’ Black Educators Conference

Your gift allowed Alliance of Black and Latinx Teachers (ABLT) club officers and English education students to attend the Black Educator’s Conference with their faculty advisor to learn more about teaching Black and Latinx students in the K-12 classroom. They also helped promote our department, which houses the ABLT club, during the higher education recruitment afternoon.

Kayla Veal, Alyssa Huckaby, and Sydney Jordan with their faculty advisor Dr. Lyn Jones at the Alliance of Black and Latinx Teachers’ Black Educators Conference.

“An Evening with Roxane Gay” during Women’s Week

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Register for Book Arts Collaborative!

Looking for another class to add to your schedule for Spring Semester that isn’t just another lecture? We have just the class for you. Book Arts Collaborative is an immersive-learning experience that is also student-managed business.

What do students in Book Arts Collaborative do?

Participants professionalize skills through a variety of hands-on learning and management experiences. They teach letterpress printing and hand-sewn book binding to students, who assist with and eventually lead community workshop instruction in these apprentice-taught skills.

Book Arts Collaborative sells its work through a network of Central Indiana retailers, and students work with those business and gallery owners. They publicize their workshops, community donations and activities such as appearances at street fairs and book arts-related events. Their website also includes a student-written blog.

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The Inside Scoop on Ball State's Literary Magazine: The Broken Plate

We sat down with Professor Mark Neely, faculty supervisor of The Broken Plate, and Jackson Eflin, a former Broken Plate staff member who has also had his work published in the literary magazine. 

What is The neelyBroken Plate?

The Broken Plate is a literary magazine that publishes poetry, fiction, nonfiction, art, and photography (among other things) by writers and artists from around the world. Each issue is edited by an interdisciplinary group of Ball State undergraduate students and released at our annual In Print Festival of First Books.

You’ve been the editor of the magazine for several years now. How have things changed over time?

When I took over as faculty adviser for the magazine, it was a small operation run by a few student volunteers. They only published the work of Ball State students, mostly that of a small group of friends.

I wanted to make it a more valuable experience for both the editors and for the Ball State writing community, so I used our existing course in Literary Editing and Publishing as a way to professionalize the magazine, and to spread the word more effectively about our submissions process. Eventually, we opened up submissions to all writers, which increased our pool of pieces to choose from, and I think it makes for a more rewarding experience for students.

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